These words ring out loud every day at our house.
I am normally the one shouting them. Upstairs, outside and elsewhere in an effort to let the kids know that mom has dinner ready and it’s time to gather together and eat.
I am so blessed with a wife who doesn’t mind cooking dinner almost every evening. (we normally give her the weekends off)
For that, I am very thankful. I am also thankful for a job that allows me to leave work at about the same time each day so that we can have a fairly regular dinner time routine.
I look forward to getting off work each day because I know that when I get home dinner will be ready and we can all sit down, eat together and talk about our days.
I believe that this time together each day is very important for the strength of bond within our family.
A typical dinner time routine goes something like this…
I get home and mom is working hard in the kitchen trying to wrap things up. I go give her a hug and kiss and then check out what’s cooking. (most time sneak a sample when she is not looking)
The kids are normally done with their homework at this time and scattered, either playing outside, practicing the piano, studying their BQ verses or on the computer.
Mom normally likes help with setting the table. I have tried to jump in the middle of what she is doing and help with cleanup so that we don’t have to do as much afterward, but she prefers that I just help get the kids and set the table.
The kids duty is getting the glasses filled with ice and drinks. (Most of the time it’s just water as we don’t drink soda at our house, but I’ll save that for another post)
We load our plates and then start to sit down. Mom is normally the last one to sit, although I prefer getting my food last as well so that it will be hot. Nobody starts eating until we all are seated and pray. A lot of times the kids are getting anxious waiting for everyone to get their food and have a seat.
We have certain rules for dinner time…
- No TV (we must sit at the table together without distractions)
- No phones or electronics at the table
- Phone calls coming in can wait
- Nobody eats until everyone is seated and we pray
- We must talk
For this post, I chose a picture of the Duck Dynasty family sitting at the dinner table praying because this is what we do as well. I like Duck Dynasty for that reason.
When it’s time to pray I take the lead most of the time, but a lot of times I will just sit there with my hands folded and head down and wait to see if someone else takes the lead in prayer. If the kids are hungry enough one of them will soon figure it out and take the initiative to prayer. It’s important for them to learn to pray out loud and not be ashamed.
Our prayers are not long, but they must be meaningful. Every now in then I may do the simple prayer of “God is great, God is good…”, but I’ll say it slow and with meaning and elaborate.
After prayer we dig in and talk about how the day went and what may be in store for the days coming.
I love dinner time and I hope that one day our kids will continue the tradition as well.
How about you? I would love to hear comments about your daily dinner routine or family time.